Friday, August 15, 2008
Seven-pound frogs and eye-licking geckos
I absolutely love David Attenborough's BBC nature shows. When I was teaching 6 hours a day in Peterborough, what kept me sane was getting back to my B (supposed to be a B&B but they couldn't think of what to feed me so it was just a B) and turning on PBS to find David Attenborough on Living Planet talking about birds (or mammals, or reptiles) and moving from continent to continent every 90 seconds.
I've also recently discovered that airplanes are much more bearable these days for having TVs in front of every seat which usually feature at least one hour of some awesome "David Attenborough in nature" time.
It thus won't be a surprise to you to reveal that when I saw this hardcover David Attenborough book in the Book City in the Annex my heart rate began to accelerate. When I opened it and saw all the colour photographs I started to hyperventilate a little. And when I saw that the pages were sewn in and not glued, I almost cried for here was a book designed to last. Of course, I bought it immediately, for everything about this backbreaking tome indicated that it was a book I'd keep forever and ever, amen.
That was back in March, I think, and I've just gotten around to reading it this week. It was SO GOOD. I learned so much about what crazy and awesome things nature hides away from those of us who don't have a camera crew and a large budget courtesy of the BBC. Frogs that weigh seven pounds. Skinks who are part of all-female populations which can fertilize their own eggs. Geckos who clean their eyes by licking them. Snakes and lizards with only one lung. If this weren't all completely compelling on its own, Attenborough was narrating the whole book in my head as I read it, and that made it perfect.
Long live the Attenborough! I would be jealous that he has THE BEST JOB IN THE ENTIRE WORLD and I don't, but he makes me happier by doing his job and I doubt I'll be next in line for the position should he ever retire. Le sigh.